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Jones Dry Goods Company
Jones Dry Goods Company
TitleJones Dry Goods Company
DescriptionPostcard of the Jones Dry Goods Company building
Historical ArticleThis post card of Jones Dry Goods Company's building was reproduced in a 45-page illustrated brochure of Kansas City in 1902, published by the Union Bank Note Company which also gave a history of the store.

Founded by J. Logan Jones and his wife in 1887 in a 20-x-40-foot frame building at Stafford, Kan., the store progressed to an 1889 brick building at Stafford. The store was called the Cyclone. Later the name was changed to Jones & Co. Sugar or prunes could be purchased for 40 pounds for $1.

In 1890 a move was made to 5th Street, just north of Minnesota in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1893 the store moved to larger quarters on Minnesota. In 1895 came the biggest move of all, across the river to 6th and Main in Kansas City, Mo. Groceries continued to be a big part of the store's sales.

In 1899 the 6-story building burned. The store opened the next morning in the small adjacent building. Then leases were signed at 1215 Main. John Taylor Dry Goods Company which had just built a fine new store loaned Jones its old fixtures.

The 1902 store at 12th and Main, as pictured, was described in the Union Bank Note brochure: It had a front on Main of about 300 feet and on 12th of about 120 feet. The corner is a new building made from white enameled brick. It has seven big retail floors, including the basement. There is a floor space of about five acres.

Employees range from 700 during the quiet period to 1,200 during the busy season. There are 8 passenger and 3 freight elevators in operation. It is lighted by electricity. It is also equipped with the automatic sprinkler for fire protection. There are five entrances, four on Main and one on 12th.

Business is conducted on a strictly cash basis, no goods being charged to anyone whatsoever. Capital stock is $500,000. Lawrence M. Jones is president and treasurer and J. Logan Jones is vice-president and secretary. As shown by the picture, this store is the result of 15 years of strenuous and persistent effort of these men, starting with an insignificant nucleus at Stafford, Kan., in 1887.

Mrs. Bessie Burkhardt Boelger, 1709 N. River, Independence, has vivid childhood memories of weekly trips made to the store for the family's necessities--groceries, coal oil, hardware and dry goods--from their home at 24th and Oakley. Bananas at 5 cents a dozen were a weekly purchase.

She remembers the handsomely dressed doorman, in blue uniform trimmed with gold, who always met them at the curb, lifting the weight from their buggy floor to the street, and snapping the strap to the bridle of the horse.

Mrs. Boelger recalls the day the doorman said, Mrs. Boelger, is this the way you always harness your horse?

Why yes, my mother answered. Why do you ask?

The bit is not in the horse's mouth.

We had fed old Dex just before leaving home, removed the bit from his mouth, and failed to put it back when we started downtown. But our faithful horse knew where we'd be going, made all the right turns and stopped at the usual place in front of Jones Store.

Control of the store passed to Claflin Company of New York, later to William Knott Co. and eventually to Mercantile Stores, Inc.

By the late 1930s Jones had grown to be Kansas City's largest department store, despite its antiquated building. A multimillion-dollar remodeling and expansion project was completed in 1958.

Kansas City Star
September 25, 1971

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectBusinesses
Jones, J. Logan
Jones Store Company
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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